Having grapes, yogurt-covered almonds, and Chex snack mix within arm's reach used to make for a pretty good road trip, but there's a whole new list of essentials to pack now.  

Getting out of the house feels so good right now, and one of the safest ways to do that is to take a road trip.

Access TV personality, Lindsay Myers, is also a travel and lifestyle expert who says adding certain items to our checklist is essential to keep us healthy.  I've started giving everyone in the car a squirt of hand sanitizer every time we get back in, and I've got wipes in the storage compartment to disinfect the steering wheel and door handle too.  And I've got a stash of extra disposable masks in the console in case I forget to bring my favorite cloth one.  Everything has changed, including the car.

Lindsay Myers’ Road Trip Safety Checklist

1. Hand Sanitizers - This is going to be a part of all travel from now on, get used to it, and pack lots of it! Use it in every situation where you don't have access to wash your hands.

2. Wipes - Always have sanitary wipes on hand. You might want to wipe down highly touched surfaces, like light switches, faucets, gas nozzles, doorknobs, or TV remotes. We need to take all the precautions.

3. Download all apps - Hotels and car rentals are all going contactless as much as possible. Make sure you download all the apps so that you can check-in or rent without having to come into contact with anyone.

4. Public spaces - Keep in mind on road trips there will be stops in public spaces like restrooms, picking up food, or stopping for gas. Be aware of everything that you touch and your surroundings. These are the times that you need to be extra cautious.

5. Cashless - The less contact we have, the better. Put your credit card on Apple Pay or Google Pay on your phone so you don't have to touch anything during the transaction. You don't want to touch anything that someone else has felt.

6. Masks - We all know wearing masks helps stop the spread of the virus. We have to also be aware of wearing it in public spaces or anywhere we aren't able to safely social distance. Another point is to wash out masks. When you wear your mask out, you should be washing it the same day. You never know what could be living on it.

7. Rentals - Most people are leaning towards vacation rentals and RV's versus hotels. You might feel more comfortable bringing your own sheets and towels. Also, have conversations with the owners in advance, asking what they have done to ensure sanitation and safety. Make sure they have taken the extra step.

8. Hot Spots - When on the road, keep in mind what cities have increased virus outbreaks. It is smart to steer clear from these locations. Better to be on the road less traveled.

If you've been holding out on tap-to-pay, now is probably a good time to make the switch.  Paying with a smartwatch or smartphone reduces the number of contact points for us, and it protects the cashier too.  Plus, there's less to carry.

That's also great advice about bringing some essentials from home (like sheets) to a vacation rental.  If we go to the trouble of sanitizing everything we touch and wearing a mask and then we lie down on used sheets, well, purpose defeated, to say the least.  And don't forget to wash the mask.

Oh my gosh, this calls for a festive beverage.  By the time we get to our destination, we will be so ready.

KEEP READING: See states hit hardest by COVID-19’s impact on tourism

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